February 17, 2008

The End of Music? ...

The source: “Rockonomics: The Economics of Popular Music” by Marie Connolly and Alan B.

Recording industry officials have tried legal, legis­lative, and technical methods to stop teenagers from downloading free music. Nothing has worked. Now performers are responding with their own economic strategies: They are taking their music on the road and boosting ticket prices. The results suggest that the music industry may be facing a deeper crisis than many ­imagined.

The top 35 pop artists world­wide now earn most of their money from concerts, not recordings. Paul Mc­Cart­ney grossed $64.9 million from concerts in 2002, and $2.2 million from recordings. For Céline Dion, the figures were $22.4 mil­lion and $3.1 million; for Brit­ney Spears, $5.5 million and $1.8 ­million.

“Income from touring exceeded income from record sales by a ratio of 7.5 to 1 in 2002,” write Marie Con­nolly, a Ph.D. candidate, and Alan B. Krue­ger, an economist, both of Princeton. “The top 10 percent of artists make [some] money selling records,” manager Scott Welch told the economists. “The rest go on tour.”


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